Angels’ Peter Bourjos added to Nationals’ list of targets

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According to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson, the Nationals have added Peter Bourjos to the list of center fielders they’re scouting ahead of the trade deadline.  The others: Michael Bourn, Colby Rasmus, Denard Span and B.J. Upton.

The Nationals are thinking the Angels may view Bourjos as expendable with Mike Trout hot on his heels.  The Angels are pretty much locked into having Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells back in the outfield corners and Bobby Abreu at DH again next season, so there wouldn’t seem to be any room for both Bourjos and Trout in the everyday lineup.

Still, it doesn’t seem likely that the Angels will part with Bourjos now.  He’s a better player than Trout at the moment, and the Halos have postseason aspirations.  Bourjos has hit .265/.315/.388 with 11 steals this season and he’s as good of a defensive center fielder as their in baseball, so he’s a well above average regular.  Since he’s not going to be a free agent until after 2016, he’s a more valuable property than Bourn, Span or Upton and maybe even Rasmus, given that Rasmus is still struggling to fulfill his potential.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.

LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.

There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.

The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.